Archive of ‘Blue Hair Girl’ category

Christmas Village Sewing Instructions

This is Part 2 of the Christmas Village series.  If you missed the software instructions, click here.  If there’s one thing you take away from the series it should be this:   You are permitted to break the rules.  Experiment.  Try.  Learn.  Succeed!

Refer to the original instructions with the collection to familiarize yourself with the overall process.  Don’t stop at one house – make multiple houses for an entire village.

First Hooping: Wall with Door

Here’s an overview of the stitching process for the wall with the new door.  The first 2 thread colors are the same process as the traditional house.  The images show the red felt trimmed away.

The Christmas tree, star and placement stitch for the door are stitched.  Then green felt was placed on top of the placement stitch for the door.  Next, I stitched the tackdown (bean stitch) for the door.  *Note in the software instructions I have you stitch the candy cane before any of the door elements.  This is for ease.  Either method is acceptable. 

I trimmed the felt for the door and stitched the next thread color—the outline for the window.

Very carefully, I cut away the green felt from the window.  I chose to leave the white felt.  But you could cut through both layers of fabric to “peek” through the door.

The candy cane was then stitched.  (Your design will have the candy cane stitch before the door elements.)  

Second Hooping:  Dog Door Converted to Window

The image shows the first two thread colors stitched.

The felt is carefully trimmed as shown.  I did not trim the original dog door at this point.  Leave it untrimmed.

Stitch the remaining elements:  the ribbon and present.  Remove from the hoop and trim the walls as shown.

The last step is trimming the dog door so that it resembles a window shutter.  I trimmed up the center.  Then trimmed along the top arch.  Then I trimmed the bottom.  The key to success:  I didn’t trim the sides.  See two photos below.

You can sew the shutters down with decorative buttons or use scrapbooking brads as shown.  I used brads for the signs that were attached to the house as well.

 

Additional Highlights

Trees:  The free standing trees are stitched on felt.

Trees are trimmed then a wooden bead with a flat bottom was glued to the back of the tree stump providing stability.

Roof & Lights

The roof was stitched and trimmed.  I used Duck Tape to attach mini Christmas lights to the underside of the roof.  The battery pack fit perfectly inside the base of the house.  If yours does not, conceal it behind the house with additional felt and snow.

The base of the house was stitched on decorative tan felt.

I assembled the house and sign post following the original instructions included with the Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suites.  Embellish and have fun!


The Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suites are available for purchase through an Inspirations Dealer.  Use the dealer locator to find a dealer near you.

Christmas Village: Software Instructions

Eileen tasked me with the responsibility of turning the Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suite into an ornament.  At first glance, I thought I’d use Christmas colored fabric for the dog house.

But between the home renovation television programs I watch and my recent experimenting with building a railroad model… I knew I could do more.

I decided to renovate!  I converted the existing dog door to a window with shutters and installed a new front door.  I used built-in symbol designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro to make the house suitable for a Christmas Village.   With a little imagination and some robust software, there is no limit to what you can create.

Disclaimer:  I broke every rule in the book.  You have permission to do the same.


Embroidery Products
Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suites:  I used the Large Dog House 1 originally designed for the 6” x 10” hoop.  There is a 5” x 7” version of the design, but the finished house is smaller.  I wanted a larger house.

Free Candy Cane:  http://www.dzgns.com.  Go to the Free Designs page.

Free Candy Cane Frame:  http://www.dzgns.com.  Go to the Free Designs page and scroll through the archives.

Denise’s Notes:
Although the original design combines design components into as few 6” x 10” hoopings as possible, I don’t work that way.  As a personal preference, I like to work with the 5” x 7” hoop.  I took the design components apart from the 6” x 10” design and stitched them using a 5” x 7” hoop.  I also didn’t use all the components.  Do what works for you.  This is a creative process.

Renovations at a Glance:

  1. A new front door was digitized and placed on the side of the original dog house.
  2. The original dog door became a window with shutters – just by changing how the opening was cut away.
  3. Symbols: Star, Ribbon2, Present, Christmas Tree were added to embellish the house.  These are built-in designs in Perfect Embroidery Pro.
  4. Mini Christmas lights were attached to the underside of the roof.  These are available at craft stores.

At the Computer:

Open Doghouse1 6×10 in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Select and delete the Home Sign, 2 rows of grass and the lines of stitching separating the designs.

Since this is a winter scene, I decided to delete the floral elements on the house.  In the Sequence window, select and delete the grass and flowers on the house.

Your design should now look similar to the image shown.

We will use both portions of this house but I prefer working in a 5” x 7” hoop.  We will create two separate hoopings from this design.

First Hooping:  Wall with New Door

Select the top portion of the design as shown.

Cut and Paste the design into a new workspace.  (Press Ctrl + X to cut).  Click on File / New.  Press Ctrl + V to paste.  The remaining design will be revisited in the Second Hooping section of this article.

The newly pasted design should look like the image below.

For ease of working with the design, go to Properties – Transform.  Type 180 in the Rotate field.  Click Apply.

The design should look like the image below.  It will be easier to add the decorative elements when the wall is facing the correct direction.

Adding Symbols

Tree:
Go to the Symbols icon on the top toolbar.

Scroll through until you locate the Christmas Tree.  Click Ok.

In an empty space on the screen, left click the mouse button to create a tree.  Select the tree.  Go to Properties – Transform.  Change the width of the tree to:  1.25 and the height to 1.95.

The tree should now look like the sample shown.

Select the tree.  Reposition it on the wall as shown.

Star:
Go to the Symbols icon on the top toolbar.  Scroll through until you locate the Star.  Click Ok.

Click the left mouse button to create a star.  Select the star.  Go to the Properties – Transform tab.  Change the width to .52 and the height to .49.  Click Apply.  Reposition the star on top of the Tree.

New Front Door

Select the Rectangle from the Artwork icon on the top toolbar.

Hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle in an empty area on your work space.

With the rectangle still selected, go to the Properties – Transform box.  Uncheck the “Maintain aspect ratio” box.  Change the width to .77 inches and height to 1.14 inches.

Reposition the door so that it is centered on the side panel of the house as shown.

Denise’s Tip
Depending on the design, placement stitches may or may not be necessary.  For this small-scale project, I decided to include a placement stitch for the house.  This would prevent any doubt regarding the size of fabric needed for the door and where it should be placed.  If you’re comfortable without a placement stitch, skip the step!

Select the door artwork you created.  Right click.  Select Convert To / Run.

In an open space on the screen, create another rectangle shape using the Artwork tool.  Make the width .77 inches and height 1.14 inches.  Assign a new color to this shape that is different from the previous rectangle.  I chose green.  With the rectangle still selected, right click.  Select Convert To / Run.

In the Properties – Run box, select Bean for the stitch type.

Drag and drop the bean stitch door on top of the placement stitch door as shown.  Adjust the thread sequence so that the run stitch version of the door is stitched first followed by the bean stitch version of the door.

Using the Artwork tool, make the window for the door by drawing another shape.  This time, .46 inches wide by .43 inches tall.  I made this Artwork the same green color.  With the rectangle/square still selected, right click.  Select Convert To / Run.  Change this shape to a Bean stitch as you have done before.  Position this shape on the door as shown.  Make sure the window stitches after the bean stitch door.

Embellishments:  Candy Cane

Download the free Candy Cane design.  Once downloaded to your computer, go to File / Merge.  Select the Candy Cane Design.  Place the design on the left side of the door.

Rearrange the color sequence so the candy cane stitches before the door elements.  This will help prevent any mishaps if you don’t trim the door properly.

The design will be stitched in a 5″ x 7″ hoop.  Rotate the design 90 degrees to fit the hoop.  Save the design in C2S format and your machine’s format.


Second Hooping with Dog Door Converted to Window 

Return to the original design (Doghouse1 6×10) we cut and pasted from as shown in the image below.

Copy and paste this design into a new work space  (or work from this screen)

Go to the Symbols icon at the top toolbar.  Select the Ribbon2.

In an open space, click and drag the mouse button to create a ribbon.  Go to the Properties – Transform window.  Change the width to .93 inches and the height to .82 inches.

The ribbon should look similar to the image shown.

Reposition the ribbon above the window opening as shown.

Adding a Present

Go to the Symbols icon on the top toolbar.  Select the Present.

Drag the left mouse button to draw a present.  Resize the present to .92 inches square.  Reposition the present as shown.

The design will be stitched in a 5″ x 7″ hoop.  Rotate the design 90 degrees to fit the hoop.  Save the design in C2S format and your machine’s format.


Roof & Free Standing Trees

Open the Dog House Roof 1 6×10 design.

Delete all elements except the roof.  Rotate the roof so it fits in a 5” x 7” hoop.

Go to the top tool bar and select the Symbols icon.

Locate and select the Christmas Tree.

Click and drag the mouse to create a Christmas tree.  Go to Transform – Properties to change the size of the tree to 1.28” x 1.95”.

Copy and paste the tree for a total of 2 trees.

Save the file in C2S format and your machine’s format.


Decorative Signs

Open the Doghouse SignPost design.  Copy the Welcome sign and paste in to a new workspace.

Rotate the sign 270 degrees.

Select the first thread color in the Color Sequence.  This portion of the design is the outline of the sign.

Copy and paste the outline of the sign as shown.

Select the Text icon from the top toolbar.  Select the Goudy Small font.

Type “2017”.  Center the date within the sign as shown.

Copy and paste another outline of the sign.  Select this new copy.  Resize to 2.76 inches wide x .62 inches tall.  Flip horizontal.

With this new sign still selected, copy and paste another copy as shown.

Go to File / Merge to insert the letters to spell CANDY on one sign and LANE on the other.  (A complete alphabet is included with the Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suites collection).

Rearrange the color sequence so the sign outlines stitch first, from top to bottom followed by the text.

Return to the original Doghouse SignPost design you opened.

Copy and paste the SignPost into the workspace.

Rearrange all elements so they fit in a 5” x 7” hoop.  Save the design in C2S format and your machine’s format.

Candy Cane Frame as Base

Download the Candy Cane frame from http://www.dzgns.com.  No edits were made to the design.  Send the design to your embroidery machine in the appropriate format.

The Sewing Instructions are included in Part 2 of this blog series.

 


The Stitch Swag Cozy Dog Suite is available through Inspirations Dealers.  Click the image below to find a dealer near you.

Happy Campers!

One of the fun aspects of working for Designs in Machine Embroidery is the ability to create and present new ideas.  We gather inspiration from what’s trending, from our own likes and interests, from friends and associates, museums and countless seemingly unrelated fields.  These ideas come to life in Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine, but also through this blog and our products.  It makes the work more interesting for us but more importantly, we hope it keeps us relevant and timely for you, our readers!

When Eileen and I were brainstorming about a new design idea, I had been admiring vintage campers.  I see them as I travel to my favorite hiking and adventure destinations.  There’s something wonderfully nostalgic and charming about them – and they need to be expressed with stitches!

Eileen gave me the green light to design this vintage camper embroidery design.  I considered how I’d like to decorate the camper and who I’d want to include in my camping adventures.  Four-legged friends, of course!  That’s why I included a dog and cat looking through the windows.

The embroidery design is fun to stitch as is—and we’ve created a step-by-step instruction guide to use the design to make a cosmetic bag (or use it for gadgets or other items that need to be tucked away in a cute bag).  Use the design to stitch a sweet pillow or decorate a quilt block.

If you’re like me, you enjoy tweaking the design to add that unique touch.  You can do that with this design.  Add ribbon as embellishment to the camper.  Or use tiny pom pom fringe for a more whimsical look.

Don’t have a cat?  Remove the cat design and add a second dog.  Or remove the pets altogether.  You get the idea.  Have fun and make this vintage camper design your own.  Embellish with beads, crystals or rhinestones.  Add lettering to customize the design further.  Use software to add a square “Welcome” mat.

Most of all, embrace your creativity with enthusiasm!

This camper design along with the cosmetic bag instructions, are included as a free gift when you subscribe to Designs in Machine Embroidery.  You can subscribe for 1 or more years and the offer works with renewals.  Live abroad?  We’ll ship the magazine wherever you live!  The camper and cosmetic bag instructions are an automatic download you’ll receive upon paid subscription.  You can start stitching now!  Click the image below for the subscription page or give us a call:  888-739-0555 / 8 am – 5 pm CDT.

 

 

 

Volume 105 July/August: Fascinator!

Fascinator! 

The Volume 105 July/August issue is making its way to newsstands and mailboxes across the globe.  This post shares the expanded coverage of the “Fascinator” beaded shirt from the Subtle Tees article on page 24.  Enjoy!


This shirt was influenced by my love for fascinators.  The process evolved as I created. I share the steps in an unusual order to show there is more than one way to produce the same result.  Sometimes creative inspiration happens during the stitching process.  Don’t hamper the process!  Adapt and see where it leads.

Materials
Beads
Lace (plain, not ornate)
Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color in Black

Embroidery Designs
Embroidery software to make an applique heart shape.
Free design from Kreations by Kara

Step 1.  Embroidery Designs
Overview:
 I made a heart shaped applique in Perfect Embroidery Pro software.  While I’m not necessarily fond of wearing hearts on my shirts—I thought it would be good to challenge myself!  I added a Hexagon pattern inside the heart applique shape.  If you don’t have Perfect Embroidery Pro, it’s available as a free trial (save option is deactivated).  Purchase your activated version through an Inspirations Dealer.  

Go to the Artwork Tools located on the top toolbar.  Select the heart shape.  Hold down the CTRL button and left mouse button to draw a heart.  Don’t worry about the size—we will make the adjustments in the next step.

With the shape still selected, go to Properties – Transform box.  Uncheck the “Maintain Aspect Ratio”.  Change the width and height of the heart to 6.0.  Press the Apply button.

With the shape still selected, right click.  Select Convert To / Applique.

In the Properties – Applique box, select Change Colors.  Press Apply.

Right click on the heart.  Select Utility, then Create Outline.

When the Create Outline window appears, type 0 in the Distance field.  Select Ok.

Change the color of the newly created outline.  (Click on the Plus sign to add a color, then right click on the new color)

With the outline still selected, right click.  Select Convert To / Complex Fill.

In the Properties – Fill box, select Adv. Stippling.

Scroll down to the Hexagons pattern.

Change the Pattern Length to 30 mm.

You’ll notice the color sequence needs to be adjusted.  You want the Hexagons pattern to stitch before the satin stitching on the applique is finished.

Select the Applique heart design.  Right click.  Select Break Up Path.

Now the individual thread colors are displayed in the Sequence box.  (The sequence of stitches to make the applique are broken into individual components – making it easy to rearrange the thread sequence.)

Reposition the Hexagons color sequence so that it is the 3rd detail to stitch. (Placement stitch first, tackdown second, decorative hexagon stitching third and satin stitching as the last step)

I saved the design, printed a template and sent to the embroidery machine.


Step 2.  Preparing Applique Fabric
I chose a different style of lace that looks more like tulle with a subtle line pattern.  For dramatic effect, I spray painted it black.

Of course, if you already have black lace, use it!  My goal was to use what I have and adapt it to what I want.  If you’ve priced lace, it can add up—and I love having one of a kind pieces.

I stitched the heart applique on the center of the shirt.

Then I downloaded the free design from Kreations by Kara.  It’s on their Freebies page in the 2013 section.  It is the free design for the month of April.  (The file name is Kbkfreeapril2013_abstractlineflowers)

If you examine the free design from Kreations by Kara closely, the shape works as a corner design.   In embroidery software, I rotated the design 90 degrees.  When the design is in this position it reminds me of a fascinator.  I saved the design and printed a template.  I auditioned the template on the still hooped shirt, placing the delicately angled fascinator design on the ‘head’ of the heart applique.

I stitched the design.

I loved how the shirt turned out.  But it needed more.  I used the embroidered Hexagons as a guide to hand sew clear beads to the shirt.  No measuring or marking was needed.  The decorative stitching made it easy to evenly place the beads.  It’s a subtle touch but it elevates the shirt into a different category of “homemade”.


Final Notes:

You could have planned the design layout all at once in software.  But as the opening paragraph explained, sometimes ideas evolve and improve during the process.  If you’re a planner – do what works for you.  Plan and design before taking your first stitch.  If you are a more free-spirited – design-as-you-go type of embroiderer — then continue with your process!  There is not one single “right” method for achieving the desired results.  Have fun!

If you enjoyed this t-shirt tutorial, be sure to pick up the latest issue.  There are additional t-shirts featured.

Volume 104 Subtle Tees – Leaf Lesson Part 1 of 2 – Software

By Denise Holguin

This is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees project featured in Volume 104 May/June 2017.

Lesson Highlights:
Copy, paste and rotate designs in embroidery software to suit your needs.


Design:  Leaves & Branches Garland Frame
Company:  Stitchtopia / http://www.stitchtopia.com

I like to let the creative process unfold.  Initially, when I purchased this design I planned on placing a word in between the frame.  But the more I thought about it, I decided to transform the design to a 4-sided frame to showcase a spray painted leaf.

I think the process of creating and transforming is the most enjoyable part of stitching a t-shirt.


Open the Leaves & Branches Garland Frame in Perfect Embroidery Pro or similar design editing software.  I used the 4” frame to accommodate the scale of the shirt and the size of the leaf stencil I will be using.  (This very generous collection includes multiple sizes including:  4”, 5”, 6”, 7”, 8”, 9” and 10”.)

It’s easier to group each row of garland separately before we start rearranging and copying.  To do this, select the top garland.  Right click with the mouse button.  Select Group.  Repeat this step for the bottom garland.  If you choose not to group, it can be a little tricky to select the correct elements that make up a single garland design.

Select the bottom design.  Copy and paste. Slide the design to an empty space.

With the newly copied design still selected, go to the Transform Tab.  Type 270 in the Rotate box and click Apply.

Reposition the design so that it is to the left of the original frames.

Slide the top and bottom garland designs to make room for the new vertical garland.

Select the left garland.  Copy and paste the garland.  Slide it to the right side of the design.

Go to the Transform tab.  Click on Flip horizontal.  Press Apply.

Rearrange the garland designs as needed until you have a pleasing shape.  Once finished, go to Edit / Resequence by color.

Save the design, print a template and send to the embroidery machine.

Volume 104 Subtle Tees – Leaf Lesson Part 2 of 2 – Spray Paint

Leaves! by Denise Holguin

If you’re a Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine reader, then you’ll enjoy this expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees project featured in Volume 104 May/June 2017.

 

Embroidery & Spray Paint

I used a Baby Lock Alliance and Snap Hoop Monster for the embroidery process.  You can use a standard single needle or a multi-needle machine, applying the same techniques.

Everyone has their favorite techniques for finding and marking the center of a shirt.  I like to fold the garment in half then I place Painter’s Tape along the fold line.  I have found ironing a crease to mark the center ineffective.  The crease isn’t as noticeable as bright blue tape!

Place the template on the shirt, aligning the top arrow with the edge of the Painter’s Tape.

Place a Target Sticker on the garment, underneath the center of the template.

I used a water soluble mesh stabilizer when hooping this tissue-weight garment.

Attach the hoop to the embroidery machine.

The Baby Lock Alliance has a handy laser you can use to align the design properly.  Move the design on the embroidery machine screen until the laser aligns with the target sticker.

Peel back the Painter’s Tape and target sticker.

Stitch the design.

Spray Paint!

Place the garment on a cardboard t-shirt frame.  Audition the stencil on the embroidered frame.

Mask the stencil and cover the surrounding t-shirt with wax paper to avoid overspray.

Spray the garment with brown spray paint.  I added a spritz of silver spray paint for a subtle sparkle effect.

Remove the tape, stencil and wax paper to reveal the spray painted leaf.

The final step—I added a button to each corner of the embroidery design.  The detail and dimension finish the look.

Come back on Saturday, May 20, 2017 for the lesson on how to create the leaf border. In the meantime, gather your supplies and get ready to make your own Subtle Tee!

 

Sewing Friends are the Best Friends

I’ve met so many wonderful women who share my passion for sewing and machine embroidery. Often, strong friendships develop because of this common bond. All it takes is a mutual love of creating with fabric and thread and everything else falls in place.  Age, race, sex, politics, religion or geographical location don’t matter because the connection is through a love of fiber.  If we’re really lucky, we learn about each other’s lives outside of sewing.  For instance, my good friend, Nancy Zieman, danced at my wedding and I played bocce ball in her backyard!  Great memories!

One of my favorite sewing friends

Sewing and embroidery are solitary endeavors so when you do meet someone who shares this passion, make the extra effort to find out more about them. Start with the common bond you already share.  Does the encounter occur in class? Perfect, start the conversation there.  Ask how long they’ve been coming there, what other classes have they taken, and would they recommend another class.  People are always flattered when asked for their opinion or recommendation.

If you work in the industry, a new friend may just be an email or two away. In today’s digital world, many of us never meet, yet, we connect via email. We have deadlines to meet, criteria to fulfill and materials to send back and forth.  We learn that we share the bond of creating.  It’s happened to me and I’ve watched this happen to others. Take for instance, Denise Holguin and Joanne Banko; two talented ladies who met through their connection at Designs in Machine Embroidery, DIME. Through the years, they’ve learned and laughed together. Take a look for yourself, Joanne is the chief needle threader at her blog, Let’s Go Sew, and a regular contributor to DIME.

Joanne Banko on the set of It’s Sewing Easy TV show

Denise, Blue Hair Girl, is the managing editor here at DIME.

 

Click here to read Denise’s behind the scenes journey at DIME: http://www.letsgosew.com/joanne-bankos-blog

How about you, have you been blessed with sewing friends?  How have they changed your sewing experience?  Share your thoughts – we’d love to know how you’ve enhanced your life with sewing friends.

 

 

A few dozen eggs

Project Highlights:

  • Put your stash of embroidery, crafting and sewing supplies to use.
  • Make gifts for family, friends or residents in nursing homes and senior centers.
  • Experiment with color!
  • Relax with this creative and productive outlet.

As a hoarder of scrapbook paper, I don’t actually make anything.  Instead, I flip through the stack of paper to admire the colors and patterns.  The papers are too pretty to waste on just anything.  Someday I’ll make something special.

That someday is now!

I volunteered to make Easter cards for a local senior center.

It was a bold and confident move to volunteer.  But then reality set in.  Exactly how will I make the cards?

The answer was easy:  with my embroidery machine!

Embroidery Designs
Floral Easter Eggs from Kreations by Kara.  (I used Egg 5.)

The inspiration came from two cards I received from a dear friend, and regular contributor to the magazine, Joanne Banko.  She used felt to embroider the cards.  The cards were so fun to receive and I love the technique.  I keep one on my desk at work and one on the refrigerator at home.

Materials

  • Assorted colors of embroidery thread
  • Card stock Paper
  • Felt:  I purchased 8 sheets of pre-cut felt from a big box store in several colors. I fit 2 Easter eggs per sheet.  Once I stitched 16 Easter egg designs, I realized I was committed to this task. I purchased yardage of felt (on sale at this time of year!). I was able to hoop the fabric to fit more designs.  I chose to use white felt because it gave me more freedom with thread colors.

Instructions
I cut the felt into long strips wide enough to fit a 5″ x 7″ standard hoop or Snap Hoop Monster.  I rotated the embroidery design 90 degrees to make the design horizontal.

Stitch the design on the entire strip of fabric.  Leave enough room for trimming around each design.  The design I used has multiple thread colors.  For variety I stitched some eggs in one color while others I stitched in multiple colors.  If you  have little ones that want to help, consider having them select the thread colors.  You can’t go wrong with this project.

I also considered the recipients and what colors they might like.  Some embroidered eggs are more masculine with navy blue, brown and emerald green.  Those turned out to be among my favorites.

As the embroidery machine was stitching, I cut card stock paper.  I used 12” x 12” sheets of card stock.  I cut the sheets in half to make two cards per sheet.  Then I scored the card to make the fold.  To conserve paper, you could just make a single sided card.

Once the Easter eggs were finished stitching, I trimmed close to the edges, leaving about a ¼ inch around the design.

I took the opportunity to pull out all my craft supplies, including ribbons, trim, buttons and brads.  I’ve also made it my challenge to use up nearly all my scrapbook paper—even the ‘special’ paper with extra sparkles.  It doesn’t do me any good hoarding the supplies and it is fun to find interesting ways to decorate each card.

I was bored with the solid colored card stock so to add texture I pulled out my little New Home sewing machine.  It doesn’t have as many features as I’m used to (where’s the automatic needle threader?) but it has decorative stitches ideal for my cards.

Once you’re happy with the added embellishments, use a hot glue gun to attach the design to the card stock.  Be sure to add a sentiment inside the card.

Can you tell which one is my favorite? 😉  I was excited to find a use for the hounds-tooth paper and the bow button.

At the time of this blog post, I’ve stitched 45 Easter egg designs.  My first goal is to reach 50—which will be done tonight.  Then the new goal will be 75… because that’s the Blue Hair Girl way!

 

 

 

 

 

Volume 103 Overspray Turned in to Opportunity

This blog is expanded coverage of the Subtle Tees article featured in Volume 103 March/April 2017.  This post covers “overspray”.  

For spray paint tips, visit “spray paint


I did not heed my own advice when I spray painted the stencil on the t-shirt.  It was windy outdoors and I didn’t cover the shirt well when I appliqued the spray paint.

My heart sank when I removed the stencil.  The colors looked amazing.  But there was overspray.

No problem!  I decided to use the stenciled part of the shirt as applique fabric.

Overview of this Project:
I stitched the Ravenheart design on the spray painted (ruined) shirt first.  Then I cut the embroidered piece to use as applique fabric.  I embroidered the fabric on to the new shirt.  Since I was working with knit fabric, I chose to make my applique raw-edge applique.

The purpose of this article is to show mistakes can be salvaged. You just have to get scrappy!


Embroidery Designs:
Ravenheart from Urban Threads.  I chose this design because the decorative elements on the heart mimicked the stencil design.
Applique shape:  Created in Perfect Embroidery Pro but any digitizing software will work.

Step 1.  Make the Applique Shape

Determine the Size of Applique Shape
I printed a template of the Ravenheart design and placed it on the stenciled portion of the original t-shirt.  I didn’t love all the stenciled areas I spray painted, so I chose the area I liked best.  Feel free to experiment – you are creating a ‘new’ fabric.

This process helped me determine how big to make the applique.  I cut a square piece of paper  to audition how large my applique shape should be.

Launch Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Click on the Drawing icon on the top toolbar. Select the Rectangle.

Draw a shape.  Don’t worry about the size.  You will make adjustments in the next step.

Click the Transform Tab.  Make sure the Main aspect ratio does not have a checkmark.  Type the proper dimensions for the applique shape.  (My example is 5.5″ x 5.75″.)  Click Apply.

Now it’s time to convert the artwork to stitches.  Make sure the artwork is selected.  Then right click, select Convert To / Run.

Change the Stitch length to 2.5 mm.  I selected Two ply for the stitch type.

Save the design as AppliqueShape.  Print a template of this design and send to your embroidery machine.

Step 2.  Prepare the Applique Fabric
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my ruined t-shirt.  Then I embroidered the Ravenheart design using Snap Hoop Monster.  (Snap Hoop Monster prevents hoop burn and let’s me tug easily on the shirt without fear of puckering).  Once finished, I unhooped the project.

Next, I placed the template of AppliqueShape on the embroidered design to get a sense of how much of the t-shirt I need to cut.  I cut a large enough piece of the t-shirt to use as applique fabric.  Remember, you can always trim but you can never add to an already cut piece of fabric.

Step 3.  Stitch the Final Shirt
I used spray adhesive to attach a piece of polymesh stabilizer to the back of my new t-shirt.  I placed the AppliqueShape Template on my new shirt to determine where to place the applique on the t-shirt.  Next, I placed a Target Sticker to designate the center of the AppliqueShape Template.  The last step:  stitch the AppliqueShape design.  Trim the edges of the appliqued t-shirt leaving about a 1/4” all the way around.

 

 

Volume 103 It Started with a Quilt Block – Signpost Lesson

It Started with a Quilt Block was featured in the March/April 2017 issue of Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine. Since space is limited on the printed page, you’ll find the details for creating the quilt’s sign post.

Experiment by using your favorite quote or saying for your own signpost.  Dime’s Patch Attach was used to fuse the final sample to the quilt.

Inspirations’ Word Art in Stitches and Perfect Embroidery Pro software programs pack a powerful punch when you have both installed on your computer.  If you do, the Word Art in Stitches features are available WITHIN the Perfect Embroidery Pro software. You don’t have to open both software programs!  Duplicate these steps to create your signpost.


Step 1.  Make the Frame
Open Perfect Embroidery Pro.  On the right side of the screen, click on the Bubble Text icon from Word Art in Stitches.

The window below will open.  Click on the three dots to view the catalog.

Click on Objects / Borders.  Select Borders-10.

Do not type any text in the Words field.  Don’t worry about the size.  The size will be adjusted later.  Click OK.

The frame will appear on the screen.

Select the frame.  Click on the Transform tab on the right side of the screen.  Make sure the “Maintain aspect ratio” button is selected.  Change the frame size to 5 inches  Click OK.

 

With the frame still selected, right click and select Convert To / Applique

In the Properties – Applique box, select “Change Colors.”  Click Apply to update the design.

Repeat Step 1 to add a second frame inside the outer frame. I made the inside frame 4.4” x 3.15”.

Once you’ve completed the inner frame, your design should look similar to the image below.

Change the color of the second frame (any color) to make it easier to maneuver.

Step 2.  Express yourself with a fun message!

Select the Text icon at the top toolbar.

Type:

“Let your” <press Enter key>

“ideas take” <press Enter key>

“shape!” <press Enter key>

Select the Arial font.  Resize to:  3.5” width.  Change the Line spacing to 100 percent.  This will add space between each row of text.  Click Apply when finished.

Center the text on the frame.

I wanted to add emphasis to the words “ideas” and “shape” by using a different thread color.  I can stop the machine before it stitches those words.  Then switch the thread color. But that’s a hassle and I’m easily distracted.  Or I can use the “Break Up Text” feature. Breaking up the text transforms the text data into stitches. All editing will then be done on each individual stitch (or letter if you group them) instead of the entire text word or phrase. It’s best to edit the text (envelopes, spacing, etc) before applying Break Up Text.   Note: It’s wise to save the design in its original version before applying Break Up Text.   Make your changes and save the new version under a new name.

Select the text.  Right click.  Select Break Up Text.

Each letter is a design – not text.

Select the appropriate letters for “ideas” and “shape!”

At the bottom of the screen, right click to add another thread color.

Right click on the Yellow to make the selection yellow.

Your design will look similar to the sample below.  Don’t worry about the colors – you have the freedom to select any thread colors once you’re at the machine.  😉

Double check the stitching sequence is correct.  Save the design and send to the embroidery machine.


Step 3.  Stitching the Sign

Hoop Water Soluble Stabilizer in a 5” x 7” hoop.  Stitch the first thread color—the placement stitch.  Place the wood grain fabric down.  Stitch Color 2, the tack down stitch.  Remove the hoop but do not unhoop the project.  Trim the excess fabric.

Return the hoop to the embroidery machine.  Stitch Color 3, the satin stitching around the outer frame.  Stitch Color 4, the placement stitch for the inner frame.

Continue the process to stitch the inner frame.

The finished sign should look similar to the sample:

Trim away the water soluble stabilizer leaving about a quarter inch all the way around the design.  Soak the design until the water soluble stabilizer dissolves.  Let the frame dry completely.  Iron the frame flat.

Audition the sign on your quilt.  Measure the distance to the grass to determine how long a strip to make for the signpost.  I cut my signpost 6 1/2″ tall by 1 inch wide.  I folded the fabric 1/4″ lengthwise on both sides to create a clean edge.  I ironed it flat for perfect creases.

I ironed Patch Attach permanent adhesive to the sign and the post then I ironed them on to the quilt.


Additional Ideas:

  • Use this method to add labels to the back of your quilt.
  • Word Art in Stitches has a variety of shapes – not just frames.  Experiment with animal shapes, food or people!  

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